The state of the college address

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“First of all I wanted to say good afternoon to the RCC family. I want you to look around and we have just about all sections of this campus assembled here. I think that’s really exciting because we are starting to move as a campus and as a family.

Families usually come together in times of crisis; funerals. Or in times of celebration; birthdays. But today we are here to do a little of both. We are here to prevent or advert crisis and celebrate the greatness of our college. Yes, there is a crisis going on. Let me explain it to you. There are colleges throughout the state are not growing. At a time when just about every new job is created is attached and has some need for training or education. Currently we are 3 percent less than we had on this campus last year.

Many of the colleges throughout the state are saying ‘well we did not grow.’ We have a unique situation here and that excuse will not work here. We have the fastest growing community in the state and the second fastest growing community in the nation. What’s happening to this community and what do we have to do different to reach out to that community. They need to be here.

I was looking over some of the statistics and better than 50 percent of the Inland Empire of the community and folks that live here have never been to college, have never taken a class at college and yet we know every day the changes out there in the world of work are saying ‘You need to have technology, you need to be able to read and write.’ The days of having jobs where you don’t need those skills are not there anymore. So we need to assess what that means. We need to find out what the problem is and we need to figure out how to fix it. Let me explain it to you another way. We all know about visiting the dentist. If you brush three times a day and floss after every meal we’re in pretty good shape. We have to visit the dentist once a year to make sure our choppers are still in good shape.

We all know what happens if you don’t take care of that business. It’s when you start to see the drill come out at the dentist office and everyone dreads to see that sound. That’s what happens if you don’t take care of your business. We all know what it feels like to have a slight toothache and we all know what happens when we don’t fix that slight toothache, what it leads to. Many of you are asking ‘I didn’t come to hear a lecture on dentistry. What is he trying to talk about?’

I use the analogy of a dentist visit to let you know about an event that is about to take place on this campus. And that you, every one of you that is part of this RCC family will have to be part of this event.

This upcoming event will be the focus of this retreat. It is our intent to inform you, the entire RCC family, of the college accreditation visit that will take place in approximately 15 months. Today and tomorrow we will hope to answer questions like ‘What is an accreditation?’ ‘What does it have to do with me and my job?’ ‘What are they looking for?’ and ‘Why do I have to be involved?’. And they should start asking questions like ‘What happens if we don’t get accredited?’ A very serious question…

We’ll try to clear up some of these questions for you in the next few days. This visit is going to be a positive thing. It will be our chance to check the health of our college. How are we doing?

Are we still on track with reaching our goals, our vision. Stated another way, are we doing what we say we’re doing and how can we do it better? Each and every one of you will have to look at this college and question and ask questions like ‘What do we need to change?’ “What do we need to upgrade?’ ‘What do we need to establish?’ ‘What do we need to build?’ ‘What do we need to eliminate?’ to create a great learning environment.

I want to emphasize this again that this is a college accreditation that includes everyone from the groundskeepers, academic support, counselors, coaches, faculty, administrators, students, directors and even the president. If you work or study on this campus, you are a part of this accreditation. The work to prepare for this site visit starts today.

Many people on this campus, for the last couple of months, have been working diligently to lay the foundation. They have a plan and it’s now our job to carry out that plan. But we need you to carry out the plan. Our goal is to have the accreditation team go back to the AACC, accreditation officials and tell them what we already know… Riverside City College is the greatest.

The next few months you will meet, dissect, review, analyze looking for improvement in every aspect of this college. To review what we have been doing; asking the question “How can we do it better?” Creating a culture of positive change. The result of this effort is that we will continue on the road to greatness. If not, ’cause we always have to ask that question ‘What happens if we don’t get passed this accreditation?’

‘What happens if we don’t continue down this road to greatness?’

If we don’t, then one day this institution will be known as Riverside City College Museum, because we were not able to change.

Many of you have been placed on committees, many of you will be placed on committees and standards that we will be examining. And some of you will say “It doesn’t have anything to do with my job.”. This is necessary because sometimes new eyes see things that are obvious that others can’t see. So you will play an important part of insuring that we attain a culture of positive change.

My question for you to ponder is, and this is for each one of you, if an organization’s culture is thought of as its personality, what’s RCC’s personality?

And what will it be in the future?

And let me leave some words to ponder by from the honorable Thurgood Marshall, a U.S. Supreme Court justice: ‘Both tears and sweat are salty and they both render different results. Tears can get you sympathy, sweat will get you change.’ And I ask all to join in this most important effort to bring about a positive, positive, positive accreditation site visit that will take place in less than 15 months.”

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